Concert Cost: $18 if You're Vaccinated, $1000 if Not

Carolyn Crist

June 02, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

An upcoming punk rock show in Florida has an unusual price structure: Those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-June can buy a ticket for $18, and those who are unvaccinated can buy a ticket for $999.99.

Paul Williams of Leadfoot Promotions, the concert promoter, came up with the idea to require attendees to provide proof of vaccination to receive a discounted ticket to the June 26 show in St. Petersburg, FL.

"We're just trying to do a show safely, and they should go out and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families and their community," he told WFTS, an ABC affiliate in Tampa Bay.

Williams said he had less than a week to develop a plan to book the show and thought that giving a discount to people who were vaccinated would be a good incentive. He said he wasn't sure that he could legally ban unvaccinated people from the show, so he created the pricing structure instead.

"We're gonna let them in, we're not gonna out them," he said. "Nobody's gonna know that they're the person that bought the ticket, and they'll be treated just like everyone else."

The show, which will feature the bands Teenage Bottlerocket, MakeWar, and Rutterkin, has 250 tickets for vaccinated people and four tickets for unvaccinated attendees. At the time of the interview, Williams said none of the tickets for unvaccinated people had been purchased.

To receive the discount, attendees will need to provide a government-issued photo ID and a COVID-19 vaccination record card. The ticket page also provides links to review CDC guidelines, book a vaccine appointment, or replace a lost vaccination card in Florida.

"We are NOT telling you what to do here, we are making a business decision and letting the market decide," according to the ticket page. "If someone wants to come in unvaccinated, they will scare off a large number of patrons and will need to pay the difference."

At the beginning of May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that banned "vaccine passports" in the state, according to NBC News. The executive order prevents businesses and government entities from denying services based on vaccination status. Williams said the price tier for the June show allows unvaccinated people to buy a full-price ticket and provides an incentive for vaccinated people.

"I also wanted it to be a vaccine drive to get the fence-sitters off the fence," Williams told WFTS. "I wanted to get the kids that want to go to shows to go out and get their shots."